Saturday, May 12, 2018

Folio of Decay

Three slices of The Atlantic's degeneration.

First we have a highly technical issue, regarding life and death from 1981.
It has politics, but not party politics.
He asked me my opinion [about the specs requiring ball powder] after the fact. In other words, this was rather an odd meeting. … I looked at the technical data package and he said, “What is your opinion?” and I said, “I would advise against it. …”
I asked, “So what is going to happen?” And he said, “Well, they already decided this is the way they are going to go,” meaning the committee. I said, “So why are you asking me now?” and he said, “I would have felt better if you had approved of the package.”
And I said, “Well, now we both don’t feel so good.”
It has references to technical issues, requiring the reader to keep track of the difference between .30 calibre ammo and .22, the 3250 fps muzzle velocity, chamber pressure, and mentions exact measurements for rifling twist. Not that it abjures human interest; there are snippets of letters written by the rifle's end-users, who are more accurately called its victims. As far as I can tell there are no pious lies in this piece.

I would have liked it to mention that Army Ordnance clearly preferred the .30 because larger things are manlier and thus higher status, while actually defeating your enemy is at best a distant second. "The soldiers want lighter gear? What are they, little girls?" However, explicit status-awareness is dark knowledge and habitual explicit status-awareness is newer than '81 in any case.

This is a Spartan writing about Athenian effects on Spartan issues, with an Athenian outlook.

Next up, from 2008, something almost purely in the human-interest style. (It's written by a lit professor, after all.) It deals with an important decision that affects all aspect of life, and can easily make the difference between successful retirement and working until your health fails.
It has poignant asides.
Some of the young guys, the police-officers-to-be, have wonderfully open faces across which play their every passing emotion, and when we start reading “Araby” or “Barn Burning,” their boredom quickly becomes apparent. They fidget; they prop their heads on their arms; they yawn and sometimes appear to grimace in pain, as though they had been tasered. Their eyes implore: How could you do this to me?
It mentions but does not enumerate the monetary costs borne by students and the symmetric windfall received by the university. While today I think every reader will instantly identify which political party this piece is a flag for, the author shows little awareness of the button's hotness, and clearly resides on the other side of the aisle.

This is an Athenian writing in Athenian style about how not everyone is an Athenian.

Finally we have the most recent issue, which decided the best use of some Atlantic column-inches was to pontificate about how vowely are babby's names. They can't keep politics out of even the fluffiest pieces. "Unites America." It's letter-choice. Letters. I wouldn't call this Athenian. This is Genovesi pretending to be Athenian, and not particularly well.

I can't help but notice multiple articles seem to be straight from Twitter; either directly invoking #MeToo, in a rather transparent attempt to say, "Pay attention to me, too!"; or referencing Kanye West's recent stunts. Oh, and this: "Oprah to Graduates: Vote! Vote! Vote!" Thank you for that profound commentary. Oprah is of course famous for her novel insights, worthy of deep analysis in prestigious periodicals.

I don't believe it is a coincidence that the length of the articles is dropping monotonically within my sample.


Serendipity handed me this one. More are planned but don't hold your breath.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Political Formula

A political formula is the justification for political power. The classic example is divine right monarchy, where the king is said to rule due to be chosen by God. Democracy's political formula is consent of the governed.

Due to the iron law of oligarchy, any ruling group is a small minority. The majority must make peace with this fact somehow, and the political formula is the tool the oligarchy uses to allow this. The formula allows the subject to believe that the easy route, obedience, is doing the right thing. It addresses the pride of the adult male, allowing them to believe it is not cowardly submission, but rational assent that drives their obedience. It provides a Schelling point. It pacifies the rebellious subject by making them doubt the justification of their rebellion. It appears to provide a test whereby legitimacy of a regime can be checked.

Coercion is defection. The political formula is a justification for why this defection is nevertheless prosocial. A king is licensed by God to defect on the citizen. A democratic regime claims it is not really defecting - that the rules were in fact consented to by the populace.

The idea of the formula is accredited to Gaetano Mosca.

I was dissatisfied with all major search engines' offerings for the term political formula, hence this piece.


Some discussion, necessarily biased by my own conclusions, but regardless useful for illustration of the concept and its uses:

Using the idea of a concrete political formula, we can do transformations to search for equivalences. Democracy is, precisely, not the consent of the governed but consent of the majority governed. [1] There is a particular mob of citizens whose will is supposed to be carried out on any particular issue. Thus, we have something very similar to the divine right of kings - we have the divine right of mobs. Vox populi, vox dei, after all. If the divine right of kings is illegitimate, it would seem, rationally, that the divine right of mobs is also illegitimate. Or, conversely, both can be legitimate - if God says so. Why don't we ask Him?

In practice, citizens understand the legitimacy test in a degenerate form. Democracy is supposed to provide consent, because a suitable mob may withdraw their consent at the voting booth. However, citizens do not check whether their consent can be meaningfully withdrawn - it would be dangerous and responsibility-invoking if they found it could not, after all. Instead, they convert [consent of the governed] to [can I vote]. Regardless, it is difficult to impossible to determine how many, if any, other citizens in fact consented.

[1] In modern times, includes certain so-called fundamental rights which supposedly supercede democracy and are not subject to the will of the governed. It almost included the right to property, but they noticed this would prevent them from doing any actual coercion.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Rhetoric vs. Peasants

If it reliably lead to the truth, it would be called epistemology, not rhetoric.

Since the majority are incurably vulnerable to rhetoric, what they need is a personal rhetoritician, the way they have a personal doctor. If they change any non-ornamental beliefs, their rhetoritician vets the change. (If I'm not mistaken, this person used to be called 'pastor.')

However, it's also undeniable that a few do not need personal rhetoriticians. (The pastor, for example.) This is clearly the high-status behaviour. And the person most likely to say, "Buh! I don't need one either!" is exactly the person who needs one most.

In short the peasants are fucked. They can be oppressed for their own good, or they can be oppressed for fun and profit. They can be forced to have a rhetoritician, or they can function as snacks for any passing rhetoritician. There is no 'not oppressed' pathway on the table, which is why we call them peasants.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

On Formalism

Formalism is supposed to prevent violence, but instead encourages violence, in particular rare but catastrophic large-scale violence. It is supposed to be the political-formula-free formulation, but cashes out to right of conquest.
unrelated galaxy cakes
As a good formalist, we accept that it's nobody's business but the Turk's. However, this raises the question of why it's their business, and the answer is they marched a large army into Istanbul. Hence, formalism, far from being a solution to violence, actively endorses it. If you dislike a power distribution, all you need to do is formally declare war on it and win, whereupon the formalist will dutifully switch to your side.

Insofar as the war is indeed won, this is actually fine. It's a proof that the prewar formalist beliefs about who owns what was mistaken, and the war kindly corrected it.

The problem is that humans are manically optimistic. Wars frequently occur because of illusory opportunities. Hence, formalism in fact encourages the exact thing it is supposed to discourage. The only actual deterrent that's been found is to bodily threaten the person in charge of declaring wars. For example, pointing a nuclear missile at their face. (I suggest cryptographically signed assassination technologies as a cheaper and cleaner alternative.) Absent such deterrents, unwinnable wars are declared all the time, which cause vast destruction before the overoptimistic human in charge gets the message.

As a bonus, because political formulae are perverse, formalism encourages progressivism or other Sophist phenotypes. If you say coercion-legitimizing status comes from beating somebody up, then the true elite shows themselves by coercing someone without laying a finger on them and getting away with it, that is, using rhetoric.

By contrast, the anarchist formula of Exit (short ver.) implements the only other deterrent for war: disallowing coercion-legitimizing status and/or making the person who declares the war also pay for the war. War is obviously unprofitable; demand simply isn't high enough. I am curious to see how Exit's perversity would play out. If it's bad, I'm officially anarcho-pessimist.

As an aside, formalism also has two moral norms - violence is bad, and lying is bad. Moral norms have a poor track record as political engineering constraints. This is unsurprising given that moral nihilism obtains.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Why I Am Not a Nationalist

Nationalists want to be ruled by someone like them.

Problem: the plebs, always and everywhere, are fucked. If they could rule, they wouldn't be plebs.

The rulers aren't like you, even if they look like you and speak like you. Who do you think let in all the foreigners in the first place?

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Ancien Feminism: Courtly Love

So, uh, fun fact: modern feminism is 900 years old. It's traditional.
As per my hobby horse, the 'dark' ages ended with the conquest of Toledo in 1085, which released Greek and Roman works from the library there into Christian Europe. The virulence of the Sophist virus can be seen in how very immediately the idea of Courtly Love infected the place. (As an aside, the first scientist also appeared, in the form of Robert Grosseteste.)

It is a mistake to blame Eleanor of Aquitaine (pictured) for the disaster. As soon as Sophism appears, there's a feminism-shaped hole in the world, which will be filled by a convenient woman. Doubtless there had been several similar attempts during the 'dark' ages, but without refined rhetorical arts, their ridiculousness was apparent.

I feel like I should have known about this. It's four years old, an eternity at internet communication speeds, but I didn't, so it's time for some antifisking. I'm actually glad I didn't find it earlier, because I can read far more meaning into it now than I could have four years ago. Do read the original, as I'm going to skip any part I can't add to.
The key thing is that these Troubadours were not some “traveling band” singing for their supper. Maybe later, but at this time, they were major nobles, from both the nobility and the higher noble classes.
Courtly love, as per the name, started as an ultra-high-class vice. It's only late in the game, mid 1700s, that it filtered down to the plebs, and the final collapse occurred fifty years ago. Feminism is the very opposite of an egalitarian grassroots movement, and is particularly poorly suited to the capacities of your average Jane.
The issue at the time, was that, as the historians state, that “Love as we know it did not exist. Marriage was as much as about land and politics as anything else”. It was said you “Married a fiefdom and a wife got thrown in the bargain”.
This, as it turns out, is a bad idea. Psychotic androcentrism results in psychotic gynocentrism. (Which results in psychotic androcentrism, which...) Proof: you've read the news before, yes?

On the plus side, high-functioning autism has few troubles reproducing in such an environment. (Low functioning autism gets infanticided, exposed, lynched, or burned as a heretic.)
And it was thought that due to the “wickedness” of women, it was probably superior to remain a virgin. And thus the idea of the “celibate” priest was born. He could not be “godly”, and should be suspect, if he allowed himself to come under the temptation of women.These guys were definitely the “Red Pill” writers of the time. The general idea was not so much that sex was bad, but women were so bad, and sex was lure, the hook, so they damned sex as a means to keep men from getting ensnared in the traps and wickedness that women lay for men. And the thought has a little bit of merit, I must say. 

So, think about this. The men in power at the time, saw some of the stuff we see, and they gave a huge “thumbs down” on women. Huge.
That is, autistics reproduce (and fail to fall for Sophism) unless you allow gay men to get out of the dynamic by agitating for celibate monasteries, which naturally attract scholarly-minded autistics. Remember, gay men find vaginal sex almost as disgusting as straight men find a gay blowjob. Basically, they'll do it in prison, and that's part of what makes it a prison. With sodomy strictly banned and marriage not particularly up to either bride or groom, gays will desperately agitate for a way out. In this cause, Paul's struggle with his nymphomania becomes a useful tool.

This is more of the overreaction-overreaction cycle. To put it bluntly, while women can indeed be troublesome, to react with doctrinaire celibacy is to be a beta cuck. Solve the problem, don't run like a worthless coward.

So, basically dark ages MGTOW. Shit's not new. That said, MGTOW is now a rational response to state distortions of the marriage market. Doctrinaire celibacy is not the same as a personal calling to celibacy.
So she accompanied him down there and was the defacto “regent” during his “minority”. [...]  
The same thing happened at the same time in about 3 other major places in the area,
Awfully coincident...or rather, proof that it happened all the time, but only after the reconquest of Toledo did it spawn disease.
Further, even before proto-feminism, Hajnal Europe didn't really have a problem with women becoming powerful. Psycho androcentrism isn't consonant with the European character.
“Women are the love. Women give praise to men and the power of that praise is the driving motivator of men. All good things that men do are only done in the true spirit of love to earn the right to the love that the woman confers to the men. Women define what is good. Women confer status on men by allowing them to receive the love they receive from women as a result of high character and accomplishment”.
There is a problem in that patriarchy is a fact. Men can oppress women whenever and to whatever extent they desire. A single man can often overpower an entire mob of women, sometimes simply by being willing to attempt it. As a result, courtly love must have something to offer men, and you can find it here.

"Women define what is good." Surely, this is almost how it works in heaven.

This has been a problem since the axial age, when men realized mere material success is a bit weaksauce. Physics is not the arbiter of the good. Since it is possible to combine material failure with nonmaterial success, how is the man to judge his own goodness? How does he avoid fooling himself into thinking he is virtuous when he is not? One requires an external standard. 

In heaven, a man who is in fact good is judged by an infallible judge, whereupon he is granted a wife whose beauty and devotion parallels his achievements. I'm not an expert, so do check with your local astronomer, but unfortunately I suspect we live on Earth, not the heavens. Most women are particularly terrible judges of character. Sexual success is a particularly monochrome version of material success.

(Do note my considered use of the word 'devotion.')
They actually created these things called “The Court of Love”. And these men and women, and you can imagine the men in those courts were the 12th or 13th century equivalents of Manginas, would literally “rule” on love.
The French did garner a reputation as being good lovers, and you know what they say about stereotypes. It wasn't a pure waste.
And Gentlemen never demand sex. Which of course, all of this was bullshit.
I do like having these things spelled out, so let me spare you the link surfing to find it: this is a manual for creating beta orbiters and one anointed alpha fuckboy. Since everything is 'secret' the betas don't see that one tryst is not like the others. One of these trysts does not belong. Since gentlemen don't demand sex, then the alpha 'gentleman' must also not be demanding sex. Not that he needs to.

Meanwhile, a bunch of betas get to prove their restraint. Which is a genuine virtue...that nobody else cares about.
And we begin by rejecting unilaterally, out of hand, “love” for the pack of lies it is. [...]
And I say, no it doesn’t. It exposes the reality of the impossibility of “love” because “love” is entirely a manufactured ideal.  
Jordan B. Peterson says the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil is about the awakening of human consciousness. One must feel before one can suffer. As the event which cast humans out of Eden, Christians have a habit of attempting to jam this genie back into the bottle. However, it is in consciousness that Man is made in the image of God. God is pure, perfect consciousness. Nous and Logos. Perception so intense it becomes direct power. Man is always surprised to find that trying to deny he has feelings, such as love, result in bestial outcomes.

Basically Satan loves it when you start thinking wisdom is merely the opposite of folly.


There's a wide range of companion pieces I could choose, but I choose this one, on the history of chivalry.
This is a link.
Note the pre-corrupt code of chivalry wasn't too hot either. It's impossible to con an honest man. Nobody is completely honest, but corrupting chivalry was just easy. However, there is this wonderful opportunity for amusement.
"Is chivalry dead?"
*Look confused.* "You want me to protect the Church and smash the infidel? Err...right now?"
Optional: comments about where to find a gun and one's ability to aim.
It's not like it's hard. A bunch of infidels have been imported, so you rarely have to travel far to find one to smash.


The synthesis positions is obvious, is it not? Practice Game within a strict marriage. Perhaps garnish with anti-slut certification. Also, very high status men are going to have more than one wife, whether it's allowed or not, so give it up and allow it.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Not Keen on Steve Keen Economics: Ricardo Stands

I doubt it will help, but let's murder Steve Keen a little, just in case I'm wrong.

This belief in the advantages of specialization lies behind the incredulity with which economists have reacted to the rise of populist politicians like Donald Trump in the United States, as well as the United Kingdom’s vote for Brexit. They have, at their most self-righteous, blamed the rise of anti-globalization sentiment on the public’s irrational failure to appreciate the net benefits of trade. 
Do I see where this is going? Keen is going to flagrantly ignore that price-controlled American labour is competing on a 'level' field with uncontrolled foreign labour. (P.S, he did.) In any case, official economists are shills, they're arguing that proggies should get everything they want. E.g. since State isn't allowed to meddle with domestic affairs, it has to entangle Americans with foreigners, so it can meddle indirectly.
he treated the specialized machinery in different industries as if it were equally as liquid (and so could be as easily repurposed) as the money with which it had been purchased
In reality factories are retooled all the time. It's not as liquid as money, sure. Money is a tool specifically optimized for liquidity. Further, regardless of how liquid such things are, the liquidity can be priced into the prospective profit calculation when they plan to build a factory. I guess Keen is signalling that he's such a rarefied academic that the existence of accountants routinely slips his mind.
The archetypal machines for cloth and wine manufacturing in Ricardo’s time included the spinning jenny and the wine press. It is stating the obvious that one cannot be turned into the other, but stating the obvious is necessary, because the easy conversion of one into the other was assumed by Ricardo, and has been assumed ever since by mainstream economic theory.
This is a confusion of monetary capital (which Ricardo, as a stockbroker by trade, knew intimately) with the physical machinery in factories (about which he knew very little).
Keen's list of things about which he knows very little; accountants, ships. Did you know you can put a wine press on a ship, and have the ship carry it to Portugal?
Machinery designed for one industry simply cannot move to any other, even in the same country; but machinery in one industry can (and frequently is) shipped between countries.
What? Oh, I see. Keen's not even wrong. This whole section had no point.
Had there been any English vineyards, they and their attendant machinery would have been rendered worthless and scrapped.
A straight contradiction. Shipping is possible. Also, when convenient, not possible. This is why, when you're engaged in sophistry, it's a bad idea to admit to knowing things. You can pass it off as an oversight if you haven't previously admitted to knowing that machines can be shipped.

Around this time a competent economist would have brought up the concept of shocks. Like any organism, the economy reacts poorly to shocks, no matter how liquid the capital stock under consideration. A sudden opening of trade is a bad idea, almost as bad as a sudden closing.
Whether the aggregate production of wine and cloth increased or decreased now depended both on economies of scale and the macroeconomic effects of changes in trade policy.
This is going to be a red herring, isn't it.

(P.S, it was. Keen does not appear to have any position on what the macroeconomic effects would be, other than that they would be low-status.)

If the Portugese wine fields have good economies of scale, then England would get cheaper wine. (Once the effects of the shock dissipate.) If they don't, then England's wine fields won't get scrapped in the first place.

It's far more likely that Ricardo did think of this, but didn't think it was worth mentioning. Because it wasn't. Keen is playing a dumb gotcha, and dumb gullible half-illiterates are all like, "Yeah, my enemies* should be punished! What Keen said!" *(read foreigners)
Economists have considered this issue to some extent (work in this area led to Paul Krugman’s Nobel Prize in 2008)
>approvingly quoting Krugman
Face, meet palm. I think I need a pad on my desk to avoid head scars.
Ricardo set the standard in a tangential observation about one potential riposte to his case: if Portugal were genuinely better at everything than England, would not English industry simply decamp from England and move holus bolus to Portugal if free trade were allowed? He conceded that it could do so, but then asserted that, if this happened, it would be advantageous not merely to English capitalists but to English and Portuguese consumers as well:  
At least this is dumb in a complicated way.

Keen wants you to imagine that Ricardo is hypothesizing that all English industry moves to Portugal, and that the English simply sit around in fine linens sipping wine all day, with no tedious work to be done. Proven impossible by inspection, therefore Ricardo must be insane, right?

Ricardo already proved that this wouldn't happen if the only industries were wine and weaving. Keen did not attack this in any substantive way. Keen must be deliberately omitting critical context, to form a bait-and-switch.
On the issue of the relocation of production from high-wage First World to low-wage Third World countries, modern economists have pushed Ricardo’s Vice past even Ricardo’s limits. While he did contemplate the possibility of capitalists moving production offshore, Ricardo was of the opinion that this was both unlikely and undesirable:
"Ricardo was admirably xenophobic."
the fancied or real insecurity of capital, when not under the immediate control of its owner 
Accountants routinely price such risks into prospective profit statements.

Rhetoric does not decide whether Ricardo was correct or incorrect. If the risk of foreign investments, as accounted, does not overwhelm the additional profits, then the home country will monetarily profit by such investments. This is an objective accounting fact. Keen is implying that you shouldn't do it anyway, because foreigners are icky. You wouldn't want to be caught saying foreigners aren't icky, now would you?
The theory of comparative advantage would lead you to expect that in a world with very low trade barriers—basically the modern globalized world—most countries would have specialized trade profiles, so that they would score low in both ubiquity and diversity. This proved to be true of underdeveloped economies like Ghana, in which the top three exported products—fuels, precious metals, and cocoa—make up 81 percent of its exports. But it was not true of advanced economies like Germany,
Actually I wouldn't expect that, for myriad reasons.
This is a common trick, where Keen says something plausible, relying on the (reliable) fact the reader won't think about it carefully, if at all. And by 'common' I mean I expect better. This is low-class sophistry.

If you do think about it carefully, this fatally undermines Keen's point. He said earlier that open wine trade with Portugal would destroy England's (hypothetical) wine industry. (And this is bad because negative halo.) He says in this passage that the modern world has low trade barriers, as Ricardo wanted. Yet industries are not being destroyed. Uh, oops.

In short, "We need trade barriers to get complex economies, also, despite no trade barriers, we have complex economies." Yeah, great job Keen. Keep it up. (In reality trade barriers aren't that low.)

Here's a genuinely curious fact: Canada and America export substantial amounts of electricity to each other. I believe this is true of many other commodities. Trade must be sufficiently open, or they would be unable, yet regional specialization does not appear to be occurring, or if it is, it's occurring far below the scale of the federal jurisdiction. In any case, I certainly wouldn't have predicted it, and were Keen able to explain it, I would be grateful, despite his numerous intellectual sins. However, because I'm aware of this curious result, I wouldn't be so bold as to make specific industry level-prediction about English linens and Portugese wines in real life until I find out what's going on with North American electricity.

Keen isn't here for curiosity, though, he's here to make soldier-arguments for his side.

Steve Keen is not an economist. He is a Sophist. He employs economist-flavoured rhetoric, which politicians use if they dislike who he's throwing shade on. Keen chooses his shading targets based on who he wants to be friends with. If he ever says anything factually accurate, it's a coincidental accident.

I don't think Vox Day is actually dumb enough to fall for this nonsense. I believe he's exploiting the under-served 'foreigners are icky' propaganda market.

Friday, August 25, 2017

In the United States today, financial fraud is de-criminalized

Michael Hudson isn't such a great fan of banking:
In the 1960s, banks required a 25-30% down payment by the buyer, and limited the burden of mortgage debt service to only 25% of the borrower’s income. But interest is now federally guaranteed up to 43% of the home buyer’s income. And by 2008, banks were making loans no down payment at all. Finally, loans in the 1960s were self-amortizing over 30 years. Today we have interest-only loans that are never paid off.
So banks loan much more of the property’s market price. That is why most of the rental value of land isn’t paid to the homeowner or commercial landlord any more. It’s paid to the banks as interest.   
The problem with the savings and loan crisis was mainly fraud! The large California S&L’s were run by crooks, topped by Charles Keating.  Many were prosecuted for fraud and sent to jail. By the 1980s the financial sector as a whole had become basically a criminalized sector. My colleague Bill Black has documented most of that. He was a prosecutor of the S&L frauds in the 1980s, and wrote a book “The best way to rob a bank is to own one”. [...] Fraud was the main financial problem, and remains so. 
These were essentially junk mortgages, and once again it was fraud. Already in 2004 the FBI said that the American economy was suffering the worst wave of bank fraud in history. Yet there was no prosecution. Essentially in the United States today, financial fraud is de-criminalized. No banker has been sent to jail, despite banks paying hundreds of billions of dollars of fines for financial fraud. These fines are a small portion of what they took illegally. Such paymets are merely a cost of doing business. The English language was expanded to recognize junk loans. Before the financial crash the popular press was using the word “junk mortgages” and “Ninjas”: “No Income, No Jobs, no Assets”. So everybody knew that there was fraud, and the bankers knew they would not go to jail, because Wall Street had become the main campaign contributer to the leading politicians, especially in the Democratic party. The Obama Administration came in basically as representatives of the bank fraudsters. And the fraud continues today. The crooks have taken over the banking system. It is hard for Europeans to realize that that this really has happened in America. The banks have turned into gangsters, which is why already in the 1930s President Roosevelt coined the word “banksters”. 
Most of the houses that were foreclosed on have been bought out by hedge funds for all cash. In the wake of 2008, by 2009 and 2010 hedge funds were saying “If you have $5,000,000 to invest, we’re going to buy these houses that are being sold at distress prices. We’re going to buy foreclosed properties for all cash, because we can make a larger rate of return simply by renting them out.” So there has been a transfer of property from homeowners to the financial sector. The rate of home-ownership in America is dropping.
The economy itself has not recovered. All economic growth since 2008 has accrued only to the top 5% of the economy. 95% of the economy has been shrinking by about 3% per year… and continues to shrink, because the debts were kept in place. President Obama saved the banks and Wall Street instead of saving the economy.
Don't get your hopes up about his solutions, though.